President Bush might want to go review old Reagan speeches and pick up some general distrust of government as the solution. The verdict is in on his State of the Union: Bush thinks the federal government is the primary agent of change. See more from David Hogberg today, then check out George Will and Bob Novak echoing his thoughts.
The Spectacle Blog
The House voted (again -- it's a redo from last year because the Senate slightly changed the bill) to cut slightly the growth of entitlement spending yesterday. It's a solid first step. But the way Roy Blunt's gloating a conservative might suppose the battle is won. Makes you wonder what Blunt would/will do once he's majority leader.
Kathmandu source reports that a general officer from PACOM flew in yesterday, February 1, on the critical day of a national protest by a coalition of the disenfrachised against the peculiar one-man state of King Gyanendra. The general, visiting the Amerian embassy, told the international media present that the United States was concerned at the deterioration of the state. Why does the US get involved in the roof of the world? Because Nepal is an agreed-upon battlefield between the two superstates of the 21st century, India (the team we support) and China (the team we are correct to fear), and also because the Maoist guerillas who control the high ground in the countryside are a sincere terror-for-hire gang and King Gyanendra is now taking arms and momney from Bejing as well as the jihadist crowd in Islamabad. Also, Gyanendra is a rascal and bully, and the people of Nepal deserve better than to be abandoned to beggary and injustice by a so-called international community.
Late word from House gallery source that not only did Roy Blunt deliver squeakily the vote, 216-214, to complete Mike Pence's September initiative for Operation Offset -- cutting money from the budget to match the money spent on Katrina relief -- but also that Blunt is within celebrating distance of the 117 votes he needs for GOP leadership. Importantly, source does not say that 117 is a done deal. Blunt remains heavy establishment favorite, however this is a secret, secret, secret ballot and there is no motive for anyone ever to reveal his or her vote.
For those who dare to care: I predicted for 2006 "More bisexuality. The gay phenomenon is so last year" -- and sure enough Brokeback Mountain rides in with eight, count 'em, Oscar nods. Though director Ang Lee had the fashionable, acceptable attitude when he said, "I didn't know there were so many gay people out there. Everywhere, they turn up," it should be clear that Brokeback Mountain is less a gay cowboy movie than a bisexual cowboy movie. (Or, as the Washington Post calls it with such adult wit, "cowpoke.")
The distinction matters because the motive collapses into incoherence, a land where everything is possible but nothing is true. Reflecting such ritually subjective terms, Lee gushed, "I think I'm amazed how people everywhere have had the sensitivity to want to get into the complexity of the issue, the probability of love, the illusion of love, all those things. It's not simple things [sic] you can categorize as right or wrong."
In my e-mail inbox, two messages, one on top of the other. The first, from the New Republic, reads: "Today at TNR Online: Bush's Diminished Presidency." The second, right underneath, from the Republican National Committee, announces: "What They're Saying About President Bush's State Of The Union Address." I bet that doesn't include the New Republic's line (which in any case no one will read because TNR wants readers to pay for its web content!).
So we now know that CBS White House correspondent John Bouffant Roberts won't be the successor to Gunga Dan Rather. How do we know? Because Roberts is going over to CNN. We have no report of the IQ levels at either network being modified as the result of the move. Nor will there be any disturbance in the levels of liberalism at CBS or CNN. This, in thermodynamic terms, will not disturb the equilibrium of the MSM.
Acknowledging that there is a difference between throwing money at a problem (BAD idea) and recognizing a problem, I must admit SEVERE disappointment last night with the paltry attention paid by Bush to the greatest natural disaster in this nation's history. For many, many reasons, INCLUDING federal incompetence through horrible engineering by the Corps of Engineers, about two-thirds of one of the world's great cities still lies in ruins. But all Bush could do was boast about the money already approved for hurricane relief (he needs to check on how much of it has actually made its way to victims so far -- VERY very little of it) and then change the subject to how people in New Orleans and elsewhere all need good schools, etc. (Huh?) From the day Hurricane Katrina appeared in the Gulf, notwithstanding all the imbecilic moves by state and local officials in Louisiana, the Bush administration's response has been uncaring, incompetent, and obstinately unhelpful.
Everyone (but not us) seemed to miss the moment at the end of the SOTU, when a special appearance was made by the February issue of The American Spectator. As the President was walking out shaking hands with MOC's (Members of Congress), one unnamed Member had a copy of the magazine in his left hand as he was reaching out to POTUS with his right. Go AmSpec!
And as everyone seems to be playing this game, my favorite line of the night was, "We love our freedom, and we will fight to keep it." Runner-up moment, Hillar-ious' not-so-graceful reaction to the mention of her beloved, BBB (Baby-Boomer Bill).